Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When that big thing happened

What was going on in your family life during the time of your adolescence? Were there any milestone events in your life in those years? That is, did someone die, or get married, or leave home, or change jobs?

This week's theme is adolescence.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Think of adolescence as the shore, where you must leave the land of childhood for the sea of adulthood. Adolescence, a transitional period, is a tumultuous time, probably the time most fraught with anxiety and change for most people. In those years, you had to define your identity and try to find your place in the world. You're starting to look and feel like an adult, but most adults are still treating you like a child. You are Figuring Things Out, but as soon as you figure something out about yourself...it changes. These often-challenging years can be the source of great riches in the realm of personal insight.

When you think of your adolescence, what images come to mind first? What might be the first thing you exclaim when asked to recall your teen years? Are your first thoughts rosy and nostalgic? Or blue and regretful?

What would your family's first reaction be if asked what you were like as a teen?

This week's theme is adolescence.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Top Ten: death

What ten deaths — whether people you knew personally or public figures — have affected you the most over the course of your life?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ten Thousand Questions bloggers on the radio tonight!

We're excited to announce that we'll be on the radio tonight!

An hour-long interview, recorded last month, is airing tonight (Saturday, June 27, 2009) on ACB Radio online at 9:00 PM, and then every two hours thereafter for the next 24 hours. Their stream can be accessed here:

(At this page, you'll get a choice of what kind of stream you want to listen to.)

This is our first interview promoting our blog and forthcoming book, "Ten Thousand Questions." Bonnie Blose, the host, talked to us about a great many things, and the interview ended up being a wide-ranging conversation about creativity and the collaborative process, as well as specifics about our book, "Ten Thousand Questions."

Please check out the interview tonight at ACB Radio (http://tinyurl.com/6atuk)!

Super-sized problems

What is the one factor that, more than any other, adds extra complications to your life?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Climbing a mountain, one step at a time

What is the biggest, most impressive change that you've made in your life by taking small actions over a long period of time?

This week's theme is gradual change.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slipping through my fingers

What are some good things about yourself or your life that are beginning to atrophy or fade away, because you haven't been devoting any time or attention to them for a while?

This week's theme is gradual change.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The test of time

Which relationships of yours have grown steadily stronger, with hardly any conflict, worry, or drama along the way?

This week's theme is gradual change.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things we used to do

What are some things that used to play a prominent part in your life, but that gradually disappeared -- even though you never made a specific decision to leave them behind?

This week's theme is gradual change.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Getting better all the time

Sometimes change comes suddenly and decisively. When you look back, you can name the event, the date, sometimes even the exact time when things changed.

But there also are changes that sneak in when you're not looking. There is no specific day when it happened, but somehow that sapling turned into a full-grown tree. A new car turned into an old car. You turned from a tentative newcomer into a seasoned professional. Because there are no events to mark these changes, sometimes you don't notice them until you pause to reflect.

What are some things in your life that have gradually gotten better, without any organized plan or action on your part?

This week's theme is gradual change.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Top Ten: nearest and dearest

Who are the ten people who know you best? Who knows the most about your secrets, habits, likes and dislikes, dreams, and fears? Is it a mixed collection? Or mostly friends? Or mostly family?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fire Alarm

If your house was on fire, what would you grab first (assuming all human residents could get themselves out)? Which precious possession would you feel compelled to save before anything else?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Declaration of principles

Have you ever attended a rally for a cause in which you believe? Or a rally against something you believe to be intolerable? Do you wear campaign buttons or t-shirts in election season?

How important is it to stand publicly for what you believe in?

This week's theme is Values.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You've got to know when to hold 'em...

Would you gamble your home and/or your life savings if you knew there was an 80% chance of doubling your money?

What are some things that you would never gamble with?

How do you decide which risks are worth taking?

This week's theme is Values.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Do you know someone who professes one set of values but actually lives by a different set of values? How can you tell what someone's real values are? Have you ever tried to disguise your own real values in any situation?

This week's theme is Values.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


What are some principles that you know are important to some people, but that you have decided are less important for you? Do these things make you feel out of step with mainstream society?

This week's theme is Values.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Values are something we first encounter as children. Even if we end up becoming completely different people than our parents (or whoever raised us), we all probably retain something of the values and ethics we learned from them in our formative years. This week, we'll examine what we believe, and how we live by those beliefs; relics from the deepest recesses of the past.

What are the principles that you live by?

Which of those are more important?

Which are less important?

Which are just things you say, maybe out of a lifetime of habit, but don't really believe or subscribe to any longer?

This week's theme is Values.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Top Ten: novel inspiration

What are ten books that inspired you the most, the kind of inspiration that led you to take action or change your life in some way?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dormant potential

What seeds have you planted that haven’t yet sprouted?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine

Are you a good secret-keeper?  Are you the one to whom everyone turns when they are bursting to tell something or set up a surprise party?  Or are you the last to know, because telling you is like publishing it in the National Enquirer?  When you find out someone's juicy secret, who is the first person you tell?

This week's theme is Secrets and Secrecy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

White lies

What are some trivial secrets that you keep?  Are there some guilty pleasures you enjoy in secret because you know your friends would make fun of you?  Do you sometimes join your friends in making fun of things that you secretly enjoy?

This week's theme is Secrets and Secrecy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

They would be shocked to know that...

Do you have a Big, Guilty Secret?  What does it cost you to maintain it?  What would be the consequences if you just told it to everybody?

This week's theme is Secrets and Secrecy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The secrets that you keep

Have you had past relationships fail because either you or the other party kept too many secrets?

This week's theme is Secrets and Secrecy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Secrets and Secrecy

We all have secrets.  Some people share their secrets (which seems to defeat the purpose of it being a secret); others keep their private information close to the vest.  Are you a person who thrives on intrigue?  Do you harbor private shames?  Or does the world know everything that's going on with you, via phone calls, Christmas letters, and your blog?

Your overall collection of secrets says something about you, but it also says something about the world you live in, and the people with whom you surround yourself.

This week's theme is Secrets and Secrecy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Top Ten: hidden talents

What are ten skills you rarely get a chance to use?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Casting your ballot

Every four years, we vote for President here in the United States.  We generally choose between one of two people, even though by law we can vote for anyone at all — by writing in a name that's not on the ballot.  If you could choose any living person to govern the place where you live, who would you choose, and why?

What would you expect that person to be able to do as leader?  Are you able to do any of those same things, even on a small scale or on a local level?  What's stopping you?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Real happiness

What do you have in your life that makes you happy? After you've listed about five items, see whether they have anything in common.

This week's theme is happiness.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wishing well

What if you could wish for anything you needed to make you happy? What would that look like?

Are any of the things on your list obtainable by means other than magic or wishing?

This week's theme is happiness.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy hearth and home

Were you happy as a child? Did you live in a happy home, or did you persevere despite unhappiness all around you?

How about your current home life -- is it happy?

This week's theme is happiness.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Whistle a happy tune

Is there any specific song, that can make you happy just by hearing it? Does it make you happy because of the content of the lyrics? Or because it evokes a certain happy time in your life?

This week's theme is happiness.

Monday, June 1, 2009


What is the difference between "happy" and "satisfied"? Which of those words better describes you today?

If you had to sum up the your current state of mind in just one word, what word would you use?

Recommended blog: The Happiness Project

This week's theme is happiness.